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Policies & Practices > Dealing with conflicting sources

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message 1: by GEM (new)

GEM | 28 comments I was just wondering what the procedure is when 2 book sources conflict with their information, for example, WorldCat may list a book as having 220 pages, whilst Amazon lists it as 215pp. I've just come across a book (9781409101031) that has different covers in either source. Do sources have a ranking of reliability? (eg use WorldCat as a priority) or if the sources differ should we hold off from updating GR?


message 2: by Plethora (new)

Plethora (bookworm_r) | 359 comments My first thought is this would be a case of Alternate Covers, so both records could be correct. Do you have an edition to look at?


message 3: by GEM (new)

GEM | 28 comments No, I'm afraid that I don't actually have a copy to look at. I think I presumed that WorldCat would have listed both books with their alternate covers, but I'm guessing I'm wrong!


message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42415 comments Mod
It depends what the data is. As a general rule, WorldCat's page counts are both more likely to be accurate and more likely to be consistent with the way we count pages on Goodreads than Amazon's are. (They count all pages, including blank and unnumbered ones, and usually have a pre-pub estimate from the publisher. WorldCat usually gets its data from libraries that have an actual copy in hand that the data is from.)

However, if the covers are also different, then I agree that a new edition with an alternate cover may be in order. WorldCat may have multiple listings for a single ISBN and may not -- it varies. Lack of multiple listings is not evidence that they do not exist.


message 5: by Emy (last edited Nov 17, 2013 02:42PM) (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5029 comments Worldcat usually has had a person physically see the book as it's formed mostly from library catalogues.

Amazon data can often come from the publishers either as a pre-publication estimate or as a notification of how many pages are NEEDED (not necessarily how many are printed on). If the Amazon is a nice even number and differs then I am more likely to suspect that they are using the publisher supplied numeration.

Book in hand trumps both above though.

If you do make any changes, please leave a note in the bottom box saying what and why, e.g. "Updated pages as per Worldcat." or whatever...


message 6: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42415 comments Mod
Emy wrote: "Book in hand trumps both above though."

Good reminder!


Emy wrote: "If you do make any changes, please leave a note in the bottom box saying what and why, e.g. "Updated pages as per Worldcat." or whatever... "

I like that suggestion.


message 7: by GEM (new)

GEM | 28 comments Thank you for that - great advice!


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